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MSF in Tanzania, 2005
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Malaria is the principal health problem facing the people of the United Republic of Tanzania. An estimated 100,000 people, 70,000 of whom are children, die from the disease each year. The MSF project on the Zanzibar Archipelago treated 65,000 people in 2004. Focusing on three districts on the islands of Unguja (known as Zanzibar) and Pemba, MSF works with the Zanzibar Malaria Control program to introduce highly effective artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and rapid diagnostic testing.
MSF also helps staff at local facilities treat children with childhood illnesses, including respiratory infections, anemia and diarrhea. The team has also created infrastructure for waste disposal and elimination and constructed latrines. Local health authorities are expected to assume responsibility for this project at the end of 2005.
In February 2005, MSF responded to high malaria rates in the Muleba district of the Kagera region, in the northwestern part of the country, with a six-month emergency intervention. MSF introduced ACT and rapid diagnostic testing in this area.
The number of Tanzanians living with HIV/ AIDS has rapidly increased in recent years. Estimates suggest that as many as two million of the country's 36 million people have already contracted the virus, yet merely 8,000 have access to life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) medicines.
In October 2004, MSF opened a project to treat HIV-positive patients in the Makete district, a remote rural area in the Iringa region of southern Tanzania near Lake Malawi. The team provides comprehensive care for patients and introduced ARVs in January 2005. By the end of April 2005, 705 patients had been registered in the program, and 250 had started treatment.
MSF has worked in the United Republic of Tanzania since 1993.